Ukraine: Human rights training for legal professionals and university students

On 13 June 2022, on the initiative of the head of the Ukrainian delegation, Ms Mariia Mezentseva, the Council of Europe Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) program was presented to members of the Ukrainian Parliament – members of the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE, their parliamentary assistants, representatives of the Secretariat of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Secretariats of parliamentary factions, Scientific and senior expert department, Senior legal department and Secretariats of committees ) as well as representatives of the main Ukrainian universities: Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Yaroslav Mudryi National University of Law VN Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.

In her presentation, Eva Pastrana, Head of the Justice and Human Rights Training Division, explained how the HELP program can be useful to Ukrainian professionals during the war, with particular attention to e-Desks Newly created Virtual Asylum/Migration HELPs run by HELP tutors and legal experts to support lawyers assisting refugees from Ukraine in neighboring EU countries Romania, Slovakia, Poland and Moldova. HELP eDesks have also been set up to Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Germany, Greece and Spain and several others are in preparation (for Belgium, Czechia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia). In parallel, a similar HELP e-Desk for Ukraine has been set up for those still in the country who need legal information on asylum/migration/displacement issues.

On the Council of Europe’s HELP e-learning platform, the following online courses can be taken free of charge in Ukrainian; most of them being contextualized within the Ukrainian legal framework and jurisprudence. At the end of their training (requiring an average of 6 to 12 hours of online learning), registered participants can obtain a digital and individualized “declaration of achievement”:

  • Internal displacement
  • Admissibility criteria for applications lodged with the European Court of Human Rights
  • Asylum and Human Rights (developed jointly with NHCR)
  • Introduction to the ECHR and the ECHR
  • Prohibition of ill-treatment
  • Refugee and migrant children
  • Right to liberty and security (Article 5)
  • Access to justice for women
  • Bioethics
  • Child-friendly justice
  • Labor rights
  • Preliminary investigation
  • hate speech
  • Violence against women and domestic violence

It should be noted that, apart from 5200 Ukrainian users of the HELP e-learning platformmore than 600 have joined the HELP program in the past three months.

Helen D. Jessen